Water is one of the most vital resources for all forms of life on earth. It plays a critical role in maintaining the ecological balance and supporting various ecosystems. Water is used for a variety of purposes, including drinking, irrigation, fishing, transportation, and energy generation. Without adequate access to water, communities around the world suffer from diseases, malnutrition, and poverty. Thus, it is essential to recognize the importance of water in our lives and take steps to protect it.

 The water source used by the people of Lubuk Tajau Village, Sekadau Regency, West Kalimantan. Doc. Bayu Sefdiantoro.

One of the most significant risks to water quality and availability is pollution from the waste of natural resource extraction companies. These companies often extract oil, gas, minerals, and other resources from the earth’s surface, leaving behind a significant amount of waste and pollutants. These wastes, including chemicals, heavy metals, and other hazardous substances, can seep into nearby water bodies and contaminate the water supply, posing a significant threat to public health and the environment.

Bauxite mining area PT. DSM. Doc. Teraju Indonesia.

Water pollution can have numerous harmful effects, including poisoning fish and other aquatic animals, making the water unfit for human consumption, and damaging ecosystems. Water pollution can also lead to the spread of diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery, which can be fatal if left untreated. Furthermore, pollution can cause significant economic damage, such as decreased property values, loss of tourism revenue, and reduced fish populations.

Fish found dead floating in rivers polluted by waste from leaky oil palm plantation pipelines. Doc. Bayu Sefdiantoro.

To mitigate the risks of water pollution from natural resource extraction, companies must implement responsible waste management practices. This includes proper handling, storage, and disposal of waste materials. Governments can also play a crucial role in regulating and enforcing environmental laws and standards, ensuring that companies comply with regulations, and holding them accountable for any violations. Additionally, individuals can take steps to reduce their environmental impact, such as reducing water usage, properly disposing of household hazardous waste, and supporting conservation efforts.

One of the hamlets located in Toba District, Sanggau Regency which is adjacent to a river and uses it for daily activities. Doc. Bayu Sefdiantoro.

In conclusion, water is a vital resource for all living organisms, and its importance cannot be overstated. The risks arising from damage to water due to pollution from the waste of natural resource extraction companies are significant and must be addressed through responsible waste management practices, governmental regulations and enforcement, and individual action. By working together to protect our water resources, we can ensure a sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.


Writer: Bayu Sefdiantoro

Publisher: Teraju Indonesia

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